This sub-alpine and alpine species has wings that act as solar panels, an adaptation evolved for survival in the icy conditions of the Southern Alps. Eggs are laid on stones on the mountain slopes and as they are hit by the sun, the stones act as incubators. This unique behaviour is shared with a very few species from the Himalayas and Alps of Europe.
Poa colensoi (grass species) growing among rocks.
Deposited on stones on the alpine slopes. The stones, when warm, act as an incubator.
2-3 weeks, colour merging with the surrounding stones. Can be found up to a metre away from their host plant.
Black/brown with black and white circles at the end of the wings.
Complete life cycle can take 2-3 years.